One of the first engagement presents we received was the holy grail of all wedding registries: the Kitchenaid mixer. Mr. Goodlaff joked that if getting engaged was all it took for people to buy us awesome kitchen gadgets, he would have proposed a lot sooner. I think he was mostly kidding...
Another early engagement gift that I received from his sister was two bridal books: The Green Bride Guide by Kate L. Harrison and The Paper Bride by Esther K. Smith.
The Green Bride Guide is full of information on how to plan and throw a green wedding. From Engagement to Reception to Honeymoon, it’s got great tips on green-ifying your wedding and ideas for every bride at every budget. There's also a great collection of links to a ton of green resources. Very cool!
The Green Bride Guide was great, but the book that I loved, and the book that started my first DIY wedding project was The Paper Bride. The projects in there are amazing! Booklets, postcards, envelopes, program fans—this book has everything. I knew I was going to need a wedding planner book, and in flipping through The Paper Bride, I came across the Paper Pocket Planner.
DIY planner? Yes, please!
The book says to use envelopes, graph paper, thread and glue, and fabric or paper for the covers (all of which I had); museum board, heavy paper, and an awl (great, another sharp pointy thing for me to try not to hurt myself with...). Basically, making the planner is making your own book the old fashioned way. The spine is accordion folded, and I set and sewed paper in each fold, and stitched in manila envelopes to stash business cards, fabric samples, contracts, and all kinds of other goodies. The accordion folded spine allows the book to expand as the wedding planning gets more intense and the contracts more plentiful, and I love the freedom that the graph paper allows. Want to write in a straight line—no problem. Need to doodle or sketch out the floor plan of your venue using one box to represent 3 feet of space–it can be done. How about gluing in some inspiration pics--easy.
I sat down at the dining room table one night after work and three hours later had a functioning, personalized planner. I’m sure I could have bought one for less than I spent in materials and time, but I love the process of creating something and making it your own; sometimes it’s harder, but it’s definitely worth it. Plus, I get bragging rights.
Here’s how it turned out:
I’ve had this for months now, and am so thrilled with how it came out and how it’s been working. I’m able to collage my ideas (one of my favorite artsy mediums, since I can’t draw to save my life) and get a real sense the design of the wedding. It’s fairly compact, so I’m able to fit it in my purse (6 by 9-ish), and I’ve been able to fit our contracts, business cards, and notes all in one place.
I can’t recommend The Paper Bride enough, and I can’t wait to do more of the projects in there for our wedding. Even if you’re not getting married, some of the projects in there can be used for all kinds of occasions, and I know that book will be a continual source of inspiration for me.
Were there any books or materials that inspired you in your wedding planning?